Wondering about the search situation at Download Festival, do they search people and how likely is it you will be searched?
Short answer is yes, Download’s security staff search people, bags and trolleys at the start and during the festival.
Some say that the security at Download tend not search people as much on the first day because they need to get everyone in, but search more as the gates calm down.
And others say that they search more at the start, but loose interest as time goes by!
Although if you are searched and are found to be in possession of prohibited items, you can be refused entry, and if it’s serious enough you can be arrested by the on site police.
So with that in mind, Let’s break it down.
Do You Get Searched At Download Festival Upon Arrival?
When you arrive, you may have a quick bag search, if security have any reason or suspicions that you may be in possession of naughty list items, for example they find one tiny glass bottle of spirits in your bag, they may subject you to a full search by taking everything out of bags and pockets. Leaving you to put it all back in!
They will be looking for the usual suspects like glass, fireworks, weapons and drugs.
Leave the prohibited stuff at home and walk in without any worries of being searched.
Once you’re inside, searches are less frequent, allowing you to enjoy the music without constant interruptions. But you can still be searched:
Leaving Campsites and Entering the arena
Searches still occur when you get in, you may be searched or just ‘checked over’ when leaving your camp and entering the arena by the security staff, this is to find any prohibited items that got through the main gate.
Are there sniffer dogs at Download?
They will have a team of detection or ‘sniffer’ dogs during the festival at the gates and around the arena and campsites at various times.
But are sniffer dogs effective in a festival?
Although sniffer dogs have an amazing sense of smell, and can be trained to pick up the smallest trace smells of most contraband like drugs. They can become overworked or bored and end up being ineffective in a festival environment, but will still be a strong psychological/visual deterrent.
Also remember that the dog may be unknowingly or knowingly reacting to their handlers cues.
What if I don’t want to be searched?
When you bought your ticket you ultimately agreed to Downloads’ T&Cs, this gives security staff the permissions/consent to search anyone on the festival site they suspect are up to no good. Remember this is to keep everyone safe!
When it comes to sniffer dogs, your best bet is not to stand out in the crowd, dress down if needs be. Don’t be plastered with cues that security staff are looking for.
Keep moving and DO NOT make it obvious if you choose to try to avoid the dogs, the handler is a trained human and will be looking out for people who are avoiding them. Trying to avoid security can be your downfall.
Also, Be aware of where the dog is, so you don’t accidentally roll your beer trolley over their tail!
And we leave you with this:
Remember to comply with security personnel to keep the vibe awesome. Download Festival strikes a balance between security and a great experience. Pack your excitement, leave prohibited items at home, and get ready for an unforgettable weekend of rocking out!